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Executive coaching vs life coaching. What are the main differences?

Wondering about the differences between executive coaching and life coaching? In some cases, the same methodologies might be applied in both cases. However, it is believed that executive coaching can help in serving a highly specific purpose in any workplace. Executive coaching tends to differ from life coaching in several aspects -including the primary purpose, requirement out of coaches, audience, and so more. However, there might be only slight difference in the existing process.

What is the Goal of Executive Coaching?

An executive coach serves to be an experienced consultant and a professional coach who works with executives of the organization. Executive coaches are also responsible for working with employees and high-level employees having the potential to develop executive skills and leadership.

The goals of executive coaching can be distinct in different cases. It is because they are dependent on the weaknesses, responsibilities, and aspirations of the employee or executive who will receive the respective training. However, some of the common goals of executive coaching include the ability to handle internal organizational conflicts, improved vision and focus, improved decision-making, team and relationship building, and so more.

Some more goals to consider are:

  • Effective Decision Making: Who is responsible for taking major decisions in your organization? You should be aware that effective decision-making is a crucial skill. For your executives, it is even more important. If you feel that the leaders are struggling with making decisions at any point of time, you can take services from reliable executive coaches to help them out.
  • Improved Leadership Skills, Delegation, and Communication: Leading the entire team is one of the major responsibilities of executives. As leadership is crucial for executives, you can consider using leadership development or executive coaching programs for the executives of the organization.
  • Being More Accountable: Being accountable for the entire team is not an easy task. However, it is compulsory. With executive coaching, your organization’s executives can learn managing their own teams while also being accountable for all issues that arise on the way.

What is the Goal of Life Coaching?

The ultimate purpose of life coaching is to empower as well as inspire members of the organization towards making progress in achieving the dreams of their lives. Life coaches are responsible for helping clients clarify the respective goals while identifying the common obstacles that are holding them back and supporting them in overcoming the existing obstacles. When you take assistance from a professional and experienced life coach, it can help you in achieving life goals effectively.

Whether you are taking assistance from a professional life coach within your organization or outside its domains, it is important to understand the role that an experienced life coach will play in your life. In most instances, it comes down to the notion of personalized goals. Some of the common instances of the responsibilities of a life coaching program are:

  • Improving focus and productivity
  • Improving the overall workplace performance
  • Improving stress management, time management, and prioritization
  • Improving self-compassion, self-confidence, and self-esteem
  • Improving teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Improving communication skills
  • Bringing about better balance as well as harmony of personal and professional life
  • Bringing about better balance of emotional and physical health
  • Bringing about better mental clarity and improved mental fitness
  • Ensuring better engagement
  • Ensuring improved management and leadership skills
  • Managing workplace burnout
  • Helping individuals come across meaning, purpose, and passions in life

Differences Between Executive Coaching and Life Coaching

While all types of coaching will share specific characteristics -the overall emphasis on active listening and self-awareness, there are several particular technical skills that are utilized in executive coaching in comparison to life coaching. Some more points for explaining the differences between executive coaching and life coaching are:

#Type of Client

In a typical life coaching setting, the type of client can be any individual from any domain of life. The goal here is to boost the overall confidence levels and way of life. On the other hand, in case of executive coaching, the type of client is depicted by an executive who is working within a corporate setting at some senior level. The goal here is to ensure that the team of the executive is collaborating effectively such that the entire organization is capable of achieving specific sales goals for every quarter.

Life coaching is all about working with a single individual. On the other hand, executive coaching might commence with an executive while involving groups and teams eventually.

#Skills and Competencies

An executive coach who is grounded in relevant coaching competencies can also serve as a reliable life coach. On the other hand, a reliable life coach might not always be suitable for the role of an executive coach. Even though coaching might not be a licensed profession, still some criteria that most organizations consider relevant for coach selection are concerned with:

  • Has the coach been successful in conversing? For instance, a CEO might seek services from other CEO in the form of a coach
  • How many years of experience does the coach have? What is the overall level of experience?
  • What is the domain of experience?


With respect to life coaching, the ultimate goal is to help individuals in setting life-centric goals while helping them work towards achieving the same. At the same time, the ultimate goal of executive coaching is concerned with helping professionals in an organization -especially high-level employees or executives, set up professional goals while achieving them.

#Mentorship Style

Executive leaders might not have access to ample time as well as patience towards co-creating solutions. In some instances, they might require relevant advice. The ability to mentor an executive client with relevant instances from one’s own experience is the goal of executive coaching.

For most part, life coaching is about dealing with individuals.


To lead in an organization, it is crucial to understand the core differences between executive coaching and life coaching. With proper references and instances, organizations can look forward to achieving the respective goals with maximum efficiency.

Kevin Legara
Author: Kevin Legara